Jesse Newell writes about the pre-game text Matt Duffy shared with his teammates.
Duffy said his father had shared a tweet with him earlier in the day about the Royals ranking among the top MLB teams in hard-hit percentage despite combining for four runs in their first three games.
“There’s a reason why teams now look at the expected numbers instead of the raw numbers,” Duffy said at his locker before Monday’s game. “We can certainly take a lot more positives out of the weekend than an 0-3 record would suggest.”
David Lesky at Inside the Crown reviews the opening weekend of play.
They had a hard-hit rate of 54.2 percent in yesterday’s game and did finally put up a few runs, though it wasn’t enough. They only had nine games all season with a hard-hit rate higher than yesterday’s game and 60 percent was their high-water mark. I think it’s worth noting that they’ve had a solid approach and they’re hitting the ball hard. It’s weird for me to sit here talking about a team with four runs on 12 hits in three games and not feel that worried about the offense, but their 12.5 percent walk rate is third-best (yes, it’s early) and their .159 BABIP is comically low. These things do even out.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains writes about Brad Keller’s new pitch.
To get an idea of how Keller used the sweeper, the called strikes were mostly on the first pitch of a PA or when Keller was behind in the count. In other words, Keller is comfortable enough with the pitch that he has confidence he can spin it into the zone.
The last three batters meant that in the overall assessment of Keller’s performance I would say it was good, but far from great. Had he gotten the third out of the fifth, there was every reason to think he would start back out there for the sixth. And depending on the circumstances, he might have stayed in to face Gordon to get through six. The walks were a killer.
Pete Grathoff notes that Aroldis Chapman threw one of the fastest fastballs in Royals history, and lists some of the other notable heaters.
Whit Merrifield talked about what it was like to be back in Kansas City as an opposing player.
“For 12 years, we shared a lot— a lot of good times, a lot of bad times. But family goes through that,” Merrifield said.
“I have nothing but love for everybody in this organization. “It’s a special place in my heart for those people, and I think they know that.”
Sam McDowell writes that Whit deserves an ovation from fans.
The events preceding his departure are still fresh, perhaps still raw for some. He had refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination, keeping him home as his teammates made a trip to Toronto, before he then stated he’d be willing to get the shot if he was on a team in playoff contention.
You know all this. It’s been a mere nine months, so I’m not going to tell you that you should be over it by now — nor am I providing a required reaction as though it’s a homework assignment — but if we’re talking what’s deserved, well, he’s earned an ovation.
Kauffman Stadium workers allege unsafe working conditions at ballgames.
MLB gives Anthony Rendon a four-game suspension for his confrontation with a fan.
Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe becomes the fifth player to steal a base in each of his first three games.
The Braves will retire Andruw Jones’ #25.
Jazz Chisholm is not taking to centerfield well so far.
The Yankees address Aaron Hicks’ role after he says he has no idea what it is.
The Orioles are suddenly a base-stealing team.
The Astros name Jeff Bagwell a senior advisor.
The Dodgers fan that ran on the field to propose to his girlfriend gets a one-year ban from the stadium.
White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks begins chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Brewers are negotiating stadium renovations with state officials.
What does every NFL team need going into the draft?
WWE will merge with UFC as part of a new deal with the Endeavor Group.
NASA chooses the astronauts that will be part of the first crewed moon mission in 50 years.
Twitter replaces its iconic bird with the Dogecoin logo, causing the cryptocurrency to soar.
The 40 best Looney Tunes characters, ranked.
Your song of the day is The Notorious B.I.G. [Feat. Puff Daddy & Busta Rhymes] with Victory.